Has anybody heard about a maker named Stefan Melnik from Ukraine? I had the opportunity to hear and play two violins by him this weekend. One was 15 years old and had been played intensively by a top soloist. A student of his (14 years old) just won 2nd price (1st not assigned) in the Oistrakh competition playing that violin. She was asked by many in the audience, which Strad she was playing. It was a top soloist violin.
The other one was brand new. It had no rawness to the sound and was gorgeous in the hall. Fully comparable to a pedegree Italian violin and possibly even better than the other one.
Apparently Melnik in the soviet area was involved in a science project doing research on the vast Soviet collection of Strads and Guarneris. It obviously paid off in this case.
I have played many modern instruments over the last couple of years. This maker is one of the very best I have come across.
Apparently the principal viola of Royal Opera House plays his viola as well. Does any member of this forum play on his instruments?
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